A Different Approach – January 27, 2018
Introduction: Following Jesus -> John -> Feeding the 5,000 (in all four Gospels)
Big Idea: Focus on who God is rather than on what you don’t have.
Scripture: Luke 9:10-17 (CSB)
Luke 9:10-11 (CSB)
When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus all that they had done. He took them along and withdrew privately to a town called Bethsaida. When the crowds found out, they followed him. He welcomed them, spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
Point One: The Kingdom of God (v10-11)
- The twelve disciples return from their journey of preaching and healing and Jesus takes them to the middle of nowhere so they can rest (but the crowds find them)
- Always compassionate, Jesus heals people and teaches them about the kingdom of God despite the desire for rest and privacy
- Instead of reveling in the huge crowds, Jesus points people’s attention to His Father
- When you’re tired or short on rest, are you able to keep your focus on the kingdom of God?
Luke 9:12-14 (CSB)
Late in the day, the Twelve approached and said to him, “Send the crowd away, so that they can go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find food and lodging, because we are in a deserted place here.”
“You give them something to eat,” he told them.
“We have no more than five loaves and two fish,” they said, “unless we go and buy food for all these people.” (For about five thousand men were there.)
Point Two: What Do We Have to Give? (v12-14)
- The disciples are concerned that the people don’t have anything to eat (they weren’t prepared to host an all-day event)
- Despite witnessing countless miracles, their focus shifted from God to earthly matters
- Instead of focusing on what we have or don’t have, we should remember who our God is and how He promises to sustain us as His people
- In ministry and in life, don’t forget about the Holy Spirit when looking for solutions to problems
Luke 9:14-17 (CSB)
Then he told his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” They did what he said, and had them all sit down. Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke them. He kept giving them to the disciples to set before the crowd. Everyone ate and was filled. They picked up twelve baskets of leftover pieces.
Point Three: A Glimpse of Heaven (v14-17)
- Jesus has the disciples divide the crowd and then multiplies the few loaves of bread and fish they had brought with them
- The imagery here evokes both the Exodus from Egypt and the Last Supper (also previews the heavenly banquet that awaits us where there will be no need to worry about life’s problems)
- It is a rare and beautiful thing when God’s people come together and are completely focused on the goodness of God rather than on themselves
- We should have the same mindset whether we are having a ‘mountaintop experience’ or find ourselves trudging through the valley below
- When you are tired and short on rest, are you able to keep your focus on the kingdom of God?
- When you are planning an ministry event, do you factor in your team’s spiritual gifts?
- Have you ever had a ‘mountaintop experience’ where everyone was completely focused on the goodness of God?